How Long Before NATO Aircraft Carrier Force Projection Capabilities Are Successfully Countered? Some effects of the fiscal crises

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Abstract

Growth and fiscal policy conducive to economic development have been severely jeopardized in most NATO member countries since 2008. In sharp contrast, China has experienced only a relatively slower GDP growth, which it has mitigated with a fiscally expansionary outlook. Under these conditions, when can we expect the politico-military position of NATO to be challenged? This paper surveys amphibious force projection capabilities in six countries: the USA, the UK, France, Russia, India and the People's Republic of China (PRC). An assessment of the current capability for aircraft carrier building and a survey of carrier-related ambitions is undertaken to offer projections of probable aircraft carrier fleets by 2030. The three non-NATO countries are far better positioned to build aircraft carriers than the three NATO members, with China in the lead. Nevertheless, there is a high probability of the continued military dominance of the USA and NATO, but also of a military build-up focusing on the Indian Ocean.

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